Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sanjay Dutt pleads for leniency

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt has pleaded for leniency when he is sentenced for his part in the 1993 serial bomb attacks in Mumbai (Bombay).

Dutt asked Judge PD Kode to consider his humanitarian work and clean record since being let out on bail in 1995 while police continued investigations.

On Tuesday, the judge found Dutt guilty of illegally possessing firearms but cleared him of conspiracy.

Dutt is one of the most high-profile of those accused over the 1993 blasts.

He was originally charged with five offences, including criminal conspiracy and possession of illegal weapons. He was cleared of all charges except for that of possessing weapons. He faces a prison sentence of between five and 10 years.

'I love my country'

Which country is that? Saudi Arabia?

Sanjay Dutt pleads for leniency

Honda Jets to the Future

Jensen, while I can appreciate your frustration, the simple fact is that hydrogen is the best bet for plentiful energy. You dismiss the lack of a hydrogen distribution network, but what if every hydro car came complete with a hi-efficiency solar/wind/off-peak grid unit you hooked up to your home to electrolocized water into hydro 24/7? Sure, ethanol sounds good, and Brazil is a stunning example of it, but they have one huge advantage over us: sugarcane. It's easier to make ethanol out of sugar than anything else, and US farmers just won't be able to compete with that in the long run.

We are only a few years away from the combination technological breakthrough/refinement of engineering that will produce the first "Model T" type hydro car. Sure, oil companies are not promoting it, but they, like you, don't think the technology is any danger to them.

Of course, the Germans and Japanese are dumping billions into hydro research in the meantime, and will own the tech when its perfected if we aren't more dilligent. They both lost the last war they were in because they ran out of gas. They won't make that mistake again . . .

Honda Jets to the Future

How to Improve WiFi Reception

Here are some quick tips to maximize your signal strength and minimize interference with a little wireless feng shui.


  1. Put large furniture along the exterior walls of your home.
  2. Minimize mirrors, which can bounce the signal back.
  3. Place your router in one of the following locations:
    • Near the center of the house
    • Off the floor, ideally on a high shelf
    • As far as possible from your neighbor's Wi-Fi router (which, of course, you've made sure is using a different channel)
    • Away from cordless phones and microwaves, which operate on the same 2.4-Ghz frequency.


  • The addition of a "high gain" external antenna will often provide increased reception signal and performance.

From WikiHow

Where am I today?

As a monopoly, and as individuals, we value integrity, honesty, openness, personal excellence, constructive self-criticism, continual self-improvement, and mutual respect. We are committed to our customers and partners and have a passion for technology.

We take on big challenges such as anti-trust lawsuits, and pride ourselves on seeing them through successfully. We hold ourselves accountable to all our customers, shareholders, partners, and employees by honoring our commitments, providing results, and striving for the highest quality.

`Bawarchi' in the dock

HYDERABAD: MCH officials led by Chief Veterinary Officer P. Venkateshwar Reddy conducted raids on Hotel Bawarchi at RTC crossroads on Thursday. They found the kitchen to be `unhygienic' and personal hygiene of cooks to be `very poor.'

About 15-20 kg. of cooked chicken, mutton and other vegetables unfit for human consumption were seized. Commissioner Sanjay Jaju said surprise raids will be continued in the interest of general public and citizens on phone number: 9849006013 for complaints.

Revolutionary growth companies...

Revolutionary growth companies can come from anywhere and do just about anything. Witness Falcon WaterFree Technologies, a private company that may change the way we go to the bathroom -- and save the world in the process.

About WaterFree
Falcon WaterFree Technologies makes urinals that don't have to be flushed with fresh water. According to the company, each urinal saves approximately 40,000 gallons of water per year and is far less expensive to operate than a conventional urinal.

In a world where fresh water is a finite resource and our global population is growing larger by the day, you can see why Falcon may just be the next big thing in toilets.

Even better for the business, the urinals function with a filter that periodically needs to be replaced. That's exactly the razor-and-blade economic model that's so lucrative for razor makers such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) and for printer-print cartridge makers such as Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ).

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fine. Then we will bomb you until you realize how bad your pain is.

Good point, Scott. People getting offended for people who aren't actually offended. That usually leads to trouble and unnecessary trouble:

Unnamed Western Country: We are offended that you have to suffer under a regime of dictatorship. Your personal freedoms are limited and we are empathetic to your plight. We feel for you. We will bring you democracy so that you will not hurt so bad.

Unnamed Mideast Country: Actually, we're not hurting. Dictatorship is the best fit for us now. Because of our tendency to mix religion with government, democracy wouldn't work for us. It's best that the leader of a certain sect asserts his power so that the country doesn't collapse into civil war.

UWC: (not listening) So we will be over soon to heal your hurts.

UMC: We aren't hurting.

UWC: Don't panic, democracy will make it all better, and you won't hurt anymore.

UMC: We don't want your democracy.

UWC: That's just the pain talking.

UMC: We're OK. Really.

UWC: Oh! The extent of your suffering! We will make sure that you suffer no more.

UMC: You will bring pain with you if you try to help us.

UWC: There's always a little hurting before the healing.

UMC: No, you don't understand. We're ok. We don't want you to help us.

UWC: Well, we know one person in your country who does want us to help.

UMC: Actually, he was a tourist from your country. None of us want your help.

UWC: Fine. Then we will bomb you until you realize how bad your pain is.



Dear Yahoo!:
What's the deal with kids wearing their pants below their butts?
Arcadia, California
Dear Kristin:
Our trash-talking license was revoked the moment we first pegged our jeans in junior high, so we can't judge the fashion sense of others. That said, ridiculously baggy pants do mystify us. So how did this fad get started?

The most popular theory suggests the trend originated in prison. Guests of the state aren't issued belts in the big house (for several obvious reasons). As a result, their pants tend to fall low and loose on their bodies. agrees that "sagging" got its start in prison. "Sagging pants became the behind-the-bars thing thanks to ill-fitting prison garb: some of those incarcerated were provided with clothes a few sizes too large." We don't generally think of prison as the epicenter of fashion, but apparently it does inspire new styles.

Perhaps the real question isn't how the trend started but why some folks want to dress like prisoners. Alas, we've no clue, but we do know that given enough time, everything eventually (from plastic shoes to disturbing nose rings) becomes fashionable. Too bad pegged pants probably won't come back into style -- we still kind of dig 'em.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cell phone porn to ring up $3.3 billion

Adult content on mobile devices will be worth $3.3 billion by 2011, up from $1.4 billion this year, according to industry analysts JupiterResearch.

Europe is the biggest spender on porn, due to both its appetite for smut and the relatively high-priced nature of adult content. The Asia-Pacific region follows in second place.

Cell phone porn to ring up $3.3 billion

If I were to start an IT company in India, I'll concentrate on this business. I can be bigger than TCS, InfoSys and all other sundry companies in no time!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Management at Microsoft

So what's it take to swing 1 or 2 you ask, if not superb programming skills? Well, you have got to become a superb bullshitter! I won't name who those are at MSFT, but there's a few outstanding ones who can convey an image of diligence, value, hard work, and basically an aura of happiness about them. Not that they're actually smarter or better than you in any way - they're just better at creating this perception with the words they say, the actions they do, the way they communicate to others about what it is they do, the way they ask their questions from others, etc. Does this come easy? Fuck no. This is why you don't see major bullshitters straight out of college - what you see straight out of college are a bunch of wannabe idealists..... never mature folks. Unfortunately, some never grow out of this phase (and I guess that's for the better, for we can't all have management types in companies, someone needs to do the real work).

Management (or better yet, upward career movement) is a choice, and requires learning a lot of skills, way past your C++/.NET algorithmic skills. So unless you are prepared to pack this knowledge about human psychology, business, technical knowledge, all rolled into one and served up with whipped cream and a cherry on top - don't bitch about anything at MSFT, AMZN, or anywhere else. Because believe me, you can't do better than them if the roles were reversed. You just _THINK_ you can do better, but you really can't (not unless you are Dr. Charles Xavier from x-men).

From a comment.

Vista: An Enigma Wrapped In a Paradox

Ok. I've been running vista on one machine or another for a while.. since early beta.. and am now running the release version on my main machine. There are quite a few headscratchers in here. I often tell my colleagues I'm like the little kid from the 6th sense.. except instead of dead people I see bugs. Things that annoy the crap out of me that have been there at least one maybe two versions of windows ago.

In the past days of clicking through endless options and dialogs to configure things such as encryption certificates, etc I often wondered if this was really better than editing a single line in an easy-to-find text file.

Start menu? Hardly ever used the damn thing. Shortcut keys with and I put the quicklaunch bar off to one side with the 40 or so frequently used programs I use.

Vista doesn't support dragging the quicklaunch bar off of the stat menu and off to one side because it was "confusing to end users." No one seems to have found a registry override as yet.

Vista doesn't handle symlinks properly. It used to be "c:\documents and settings" but now in vista it is c:\users. I see a clever little "C:\documents and settings" shortcut on my C drive. OOOOoo is this a symlink? No? I get Access Denied when trying to double-click. Opening the path via an API however works fine. Go figure.

BUGS. Features? Half-Features? Call them what you want. I think most technical folks that have to work on this know these problems exist but architecturally or bureaucratically they are hard or impossible to fix.

Often on XP, 2000, NT and 95 I would hit control-esc then R for run and type frequently used programs into run. I would say this is just an odd quirk about me and how I think menus take too long and too much work to do something, but now the run area has been replaced with a little place you type in stuff and through the magic of windows desktop search it finds whatever you type in the area above that normally occupied by program icons. The bug? You have to let it search. No matter what. Yeah, WTF? This works great on a home PC where you maybe have maybe 10,000 files. Network drives? Oh no. You can't just type n:\ then hit enter. You have to physically wait a sec for it to pull up n:\ in the list of programs above the start menu THEN hit enter. WOW, WHAT A GREAT FEATURE. No more control-esc n:\ enter for me. It is nowctrl+esc n:\ wait..wait..wait.. enter. Otherwise I get some random program like Notepad. Or Flash. Or Firefox.

On the one hand I can see how the start menu splaying itself all over your screen as you "drill down" to whatever the hell obscure program you need might be unappealing. On the other hand confining the entirety of all programs available to you to a 400x600 pixel window doesn't seem like a good fix.

This is just the start menu. Don't even get me started on the new file explorer, which is the least half-baked area of Vista in my opinion. Does Slashdot have an option for submitting a rant and getting comments? I'm sure I could go on all day.

I take all this as evidence that a lot of new features in vista are based on good ideas.. new paradigms in UI design.. it just seems that the vast majority are implemented poorly at best and implemented recklessly at worst. I would not expect this in 2006 when others are able to produce such polished and solid OSs. I would have to agree this seems like code-rot from the inside out probably due to the megalithic internal structure at MS

Farming Venture

Police found over 6,000 marijuana plants worth an estimated street value of over C$6.0 million ($5.31 million) scattered throughout the 22 apartments in the north Toronto building.

Food, Farmers and Marketing

What does it cost Americans to eat what they eat?

Total food expenditures, which includes imports, fishery products, and food originating on farms, were $844.2 billion in 2001, an increase of 3.8 percent over those in 2000. Average food expenditures came to $2,964 per capita, 2.8 percent above the 2000 average. Away-from-home meals and snacks captured 47 percent of the U.S. food dollar in 2001, up from 45 percent in 1991 and 40 percent in 1981.

How Much of the Cost of Food Services and Distribution Goes to Farmers?

The estimated bill for marketing domestic farm foods–which does not include imported foods–was $498 billion in 1999. This amount covered all charges for transporting, processing, and distributing foods that originated on U.S. farms. It represented 80 percent of the $618 billionconsumers spent for these foods. The remaining 20 percent, or $121 billion, represents the gross return paid to farmers.

The cost of marketing farm foods has increased considerably over the years, mainly because of rising costs of labor, transportation, food packaging materials, and other inputs used in marketing, and also because of the growing volume of food and the increase in services provided with the food.

In 1990, the cost of marketing farm foods amounted to $343 billion. In the decade after that, the cost of marketing rose about 57 percent. In 2000, the marketing bill rose 6.9 percent. These rising costs have been the principal factor affecting the rise in consumer food expenditures. From 1990 to 2000, consumer expenditures for farm foods rose $211 billion. Roughly 92 percent of this increase resulted from an increase in the marketing bill.

The cost of labor is the biggest part of the total food marketing bill, accounting for nearly half of all marketing costs. Labor used by assemblers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and eating places cost $252 billion in 2000. This was 4.7 percent higher than in 1999 and 64 percent more than in 1990. The total number of food marketing workers in 2000 was about 14.3 million, about 17 percent more than in 1990. About 80 percent of the growth in food industry employment occurred in public eating places. A wide variety of other costs comprise the balance of the marketing bill. These costs include packaging, transportation, energy, advertising, business taxes, net interest, depreciation, rent, and repairs. Their relative proportions are illustrated in the accompanying dollar chart.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

CAT v. 7.0: Completely Autonomous Tester

The CAT User's Manual

Production Details: After basic KIT construction, the unit undergoes six weeks of onside ROM programming and burn-in testing. Listed features are installed during this period. Since MOMCAT uses local suppliers, there may be variations between units. MOMCAT's quality assurance may reject inferior units. Users may sometimes salvage rejected units.

Beware of Far East clones. These may violate import restrictions.
The unit may be placed in direct sunlight. CAT units are operational in all axis: standing, sitting, or laying down. If all basic environment requirements are satisfied, the CAT system will produce a slight hum. This is normal.
Your CAT should have a system name. The name may need to be reinitialized repeatedly until the system can read it correctly. This lets you issue voice commands to bring the unit to an online state. Many owners give their CATs a secret password as well. You can also get the CAT's attention by booting the system. While this is effective, it is discouraged. Too much booting will abuse the system. Such units will sit across the room with its back to you.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Place sitemaps.xml at your web root directory. is used by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

Ambrose Video

Ambrose Video is a leading producer of videotapes and multimedia materials for education and libraries. We have a library of over 1,000 titles that feature award-winning materials, in social studies, literature and the sciences.

The core of our collection is broadcast quality productions from the BBC, public broadcasting, HBO and assorted independent producers. The titles range from the BBC Shakespeare Plays, Public TV's Legacy to Discovery's Connection series.

Our goal is to provide relevant educational materials for students from middle school to college.

TV and autism

Today, Cornell University researchers are reporting what appears to be a statistically significant relationship between autism rates and television watching by children under the age of 3. The researchers studied autism incidence in California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington state. They found that as cable television became common in California and Pennsylvania beginning around 1980, childhood autism rose more in the counties that had cable than in the counties that did not. They further found that in all the Western states, the more time toddlers spent in front of the television, the more likely they were to exhibit symptoms of autism disorders.

TV Really Might Cause Autism

Open source Java

What Sun's actually done, and what almost no company before them has done, is to bend over backwards to do this right. They've resisted the siren-song of corporate counsel who feel the need to FUD their employer into paying them to invent entirely new legalise, which doesn't interoperate with anyone else's legalise. (My own failure to convince Zawinski that a GPL dual-license was a good thing for Mozilla still smarts; it meant that for the first couple of years of the Mozilla project (until dual-licensing took place, after Zawinski quit), Gnome developers were shut out completely. This experience has perhaps biased me, but to see a major corporate source drop done right is fantastic.)

Further, note that Sun hasn't merely pinned the tail on a politically-correct GPLv2 donkey, they've gone through this in excruciating detail to get it just right. Instead of taking the "obvious" LGPLv2.1 option for the libraries, they've taken note of the existing practice by other open-source Java projects and adopted GPLv2 with "the classpath exception". With respect to the transition period for their own libraries (they hold outright copyrights in the compiler and VM, but the libraries contain encumberances which will take time to remove, so they've not made a library release yet), they've worked with the Software Freedom Law Center to craft a specific exemption that avoids trapping applications atop the standard APIs becoming GPLv2 encumbered when shiped _with_ the open-source Sun VM under GPLv2 and closed Sun libraries.

The legal groundwork that they've done is exemplary; it's really, really impressive. Someone inside Sun has asked some open-source/free-software advocates how it _should_ be done, and then listened very closely to the answer(s).

From Armadillo Reticence

Java Enterprise

Lots of cool things at Java Enterprise Projects.

AppFuse is an application for "kickstarting" webapp development. Download, extract and execute ant new to instantly be up and running with a kick-ass Java webapp running on Tomcat/MySQL. Uses Ant, XDoclet, Spring, Hibernate (or iBATIS), JUnit, jMock, StrutsTestCase, Canoo's WebTest, Struts Menu, Display Tag Library, OSCache, JSTL and Struts (Spring MVC, WebWork, Tapestry and JSF are also options). To learn more about AppFuse, its history, goals and future, checkout AppFuse: Start Your J2EE Web Apps on You can also watch this video, which shows you how to create a project with AppFuse - as well as gives you a tour of its out-of-the-box features.

And more being developed at Java Enterprise Incubator

XGlue is an application framework centered on bean driven development. It will start by providing a glue between Webwork/XWork and Hibernate to allow CRUD database driven applications to be created extremely quickly without code generation. However, it is designed to allow any ORM or custom database solution to be plugged in. It does this by creating default actions for basic CRUD actions such as load, save, update, find and default DAOs to do the work of 70% of most web application code. Then, the rest of the application can be built either by subclassing these actions or simply using the frameworks XGlue is built upon. Future directions are to add pluggable search and workflow capabilities.

J-RAD is a powerful code generation tool that allows developers to start developing at a higher abstraction level "if development required", reducing the complexity of the J2EE platform from the start. Also J-RAD ensures reuse of definitions, portability and reliability. The J-RAD application is generated by J-RAD itself.

Google(™) meets the Matrix. Red Piranha combines Lucene (Searching Ability), XML-RDF (ability to learn), Tomcat (for P2P Power) and Spring (Ease of use) to not only let you find anything, anywhere, but to actually understand what you are looking for.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Brocade free virtual training

Brocade is offering free virtual training.

I missed the Brocade Certified Fabric Professional classes. Looks like we can playback and take a look at the notes.

On iPod and Zune

One giveaway is the larger screen. Kids have good eyes. Older adults tend not to have the same visual acuity as kids. If Microsoft is going to use the Zune as a device that gives them inroads into the business community, and they're going to be placing this device on the desks of studio executives, wouldn't it be smart to make the text large enough to actually be readable by the old farts?

Fortunately, the market for iPods, in general, is driven by youngsters. So while Microsoft may have some tactical successes in undermining the politics behind the scenes of the music player business, the ultimate customer, kids, the young-at-heart, and music lovers, are living in another dimension. Microsoft will have a tougher time turning dirty-tricks into a business advantage when the end customer is the affluent consumer, not the businessman. That's one reason this Zune project could fail.

From: How Zune Will Try to Take Down the iPod

Monday, November 13, 2006

Cash back cards

Capital One No Hassle Cash
- 2% cash back on gas and groceries, 1% on rest

Amex Blue Cash
- 1%, 0.5%
- 5% on everyday, 1.5% on rest (above 6500)
-- Doesn't seem to have any limits on how much you can earn.
- 6500 ==> Almost $550 on your card every month. Might be slightly difficult to reach that. Because its not accepted everywhere.

MBNA Cash Back
- $25 for every $2500 - no limits ==> equates to 1%

Chase Cash Plus Rewards Visa (firstusa)
- 5% grocery, gas, drug, 1% rest (5 points for every $1, 1 point for every $1)
- option of rewards/cash. Good for 3 years. 5000 points => $50.
- max 30,000/year ==> $300


Bank Of America: Fleet, MBNA
Chase: BankOne, FirstUSA


Use AmEx Blue Cash if you are gonna spend more than 6500. Else, use Chase.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Remote Access

We need to change Remote Desktop's default port. There are pretty good instructions at

Quick steps:

1. Change the port# (decimal) in windows registry:


Lets change it to 6969

2. Next, open the necessary ports in Windows firewall and any other software firewalls (ZoneAlarm, Sygate) that you use. This is not mentioned in the link provided above.

3. Now, you need to open this port for external access in the router (which has a firewall enabled by default). For D-Link DI-524:

  • Go to, your routers web management address.
  • Click on advanced -> Virtual Server.
  • Select enabled
  • Enter a name for this virtual server. Something like RemDeskMine, RemDeskWifey - to be able to remote desktop into multiple machines at home running on different ports.
  • Enter the IP of the machine that you wanna connect to remotely. This is of the format
  • Private port is 6969. Public port can be different but to make it easier, lets use the same port.
  • Select Always and click on Apply.
4. Now, restart your machine for the registry changes to take effect. All set!


1. You should know your home public IP address to be able to connect remotely. You can either look it up on the router's web management page or simply go to at home and make a note of your public IP.

Type the following in Remote Desktop client. ip address: port. Eg:

Bandwidth and VOIP

Visualware tests speed and some other things for VOIP quality as well. DSLReports does comprehensive tests, one of which is speed and it also compares it with other users from same and different ISPs.

Most ISPs also offer speed test tools. requires login to do speedtest.

Testing bandwidth with these three indicates that my download speed is pretty close to 12 Mbps and upload about 1.7 Mbps. I expected something higher, Optimum Online Boost is advertised as an upload speed of 5 Mbps and download speed of 30 Mbps. I am certainly not seeing it since the past two months. Time to cancel Boost!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Firefox memory issues

Firefox 2.0 seems to have fixed that eternal problem of memory gobbling. Some pointers on that just in case it resurfaces:

As a good practice for Web 2.0 users, you should close your browser every few hours or so. That is not ideal, but it is the reality of the world today.

At least download real task manager from Sysinternals and report number of Private Bytes vs. Virtual Size vs. Working Set.

Most of memory used can be some caches used to actually speed up rendering of pages - not slow your computer down. You have always apply tradeoff in algorithms - speed vs. memory.

As well what’s a reason to make application do not use memory in case if it’s already fully paid and plugged in into your motherboard ?

Also, investigate memory issues caused by toolbars and extensions.

We build our own machines - Part 2: Motherboard

Due to karmic baggage, I am sticking with ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe.

Compare: Pricegrabber Anandtech RTPE

To build a cost conscious machine, it is better to go for a motherboard with built-in video. Like the ASUS A8N-VM CSM. Would save about $30 on motherboard and $50 on video card, totalling $80.

We build our own machines - Part 1: CPU

For years, AMD has been the performance/price leader. It took a few hours research to realize that it is no longer so. At a price that I am comfortable with, Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe seems to be the best. E6300 also offers virtualization, something I intend to use down the line.

However, due to various reasons, I decided to go with an AMD Socket 939 CPU.

Various Reasons:
  • Socket AM2's only advantage is DDR2 and the performance gains aren't that great.
  • DDR2 is not cheaper than DDR
  • Already have two machines, one with Suse Enterprise Linux and Oracle Applications and another Windows with the same Socket 939 motherboard, ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe.
Some more research revealed that AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Manchester is the right one. 4400+ has 1 MB x 2 Cache, but there seems to be no performance gain. Its only $5 more than 3800+, the lowest dual core.

Compare AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+: Pricegrabber Anandtech RTPE

Bought it at Zipzoomfly for $185.


1. An evaluation of my needs dictates that I go for a dual-core. Most people don't need a dual-core. Athlon 64 3700+ would be more than sufficient.

2. Don't buy a CPU based on a number like 4200 or 4400. You would end up buying a CPU for a different socket, Eg. AM2 instead of 939. You need to know exactly what you are buying. Always look at the model# and core, it would be something like:
ADA4200BVBOX, Manchester. Read the specifications. They help.

3. All COOs (Tech) are mandated to have a machine with similar capabilities.

Find out:
  1. Whether Opteron offers better performance/price. They seems to be slightly cheaper with twice the cache and dual-core as well. Initial reports suggest not to go for it unless we are going to overclock, slow at stock speeds.
  2. Best motherboard for E6300.